Living on a Harley and a Tear-Drop Trailer: Part 2


This is Part 2 of a guest post by Jaclyn Heyen about her wonderful life full-timing on a Harley and towing a Tear Drop trailer. You can follow her blog here:

Now, back to the story. I own my bike and home so the only bills I have are student loans and insurance for the bike and trailer.  I will, unfortunately, be paying on the student loans for the rest of my life but other than that I am way ahead of others in my age group.  I don’t have a house payment, electric, water and basic living bills.  I don’t have the enormous amount of medical bills I had for the treatment of depression.  No more medications, doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist visits, support groups or the occasional in-patient stays.


The tour pack rack serves as a great bra dryer. Virginia City Montana, summer 2014

In the two and a half years I have been living differently I have spent around $200 for a place to stay.  A campground someone recommended and a couple hotels during bad weather.  Once from multiple days of riding in triple digit temps in the west and once when I got caught in severe thunderstorm weather in southern Minnesota.  I had planned to stay at Walmart, but after being stuck in the back of the store for 45 minutes because of a tornado warning while my bike fell over from the winds still attached to the trailer so the front leg of the trailer bent, decided it was a good night for a hotel since more bad weather was on the way.  This also includes 3 weeks in China and Thailand this last fall.  I didn’t get to bring my rig but got the trip by helping a friend bring over his two toddlers to China.  In China and Thailand I mostly did couch surfing with a couple of days in hostels.  I also got to ride a motorcycle in both China and Thailand.


Took a Beijing Sideways tour to the Great Wall of China… they even let me drive a bit. Ming’s Tomb, China   October 2014.

My Moped Gang.  2 women from Sweden, me from US, 1 woman from Thailand, 1 woman from Germany and 1 woman from Belgium.  Riding from Chiang Mai Thailand to Pai Thailand and back.  180 mile round trip.  October 2014

My Moped Gang. 2 women from Sweden, me from US, 1 woman from Thailand, 1 woman from Germany and 1 woman from Belgium. Riding from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Pai, Thailand and back. A 180 mile round trip. October 2014

Each year on the road I do things a little differently.  The first year was trying to figure out how exactly this was going to work traveling from job to job.  The second year I did a lot of traveling hitting 32 states, living at Walmarts across the country, with a trip to China and Thailand.  This year I decided to take it a bit slower, stay on more BLM/Public lands, and stay in an area for a few days to a week.  My life words for 2015: “I’ll be wherever, whenever I get there.”


Salvation Mountain, Slab City, California. March 2014

I live very minimally.  I don’t have running water, bathroom, refrigeration but I seem to have all I need.  I carry a few gallons of water, Pocket Rocket hiking burner, and my friend recently gave me a pot to piss in. Haha…
But seriously, quite helpful in busy BLM lands.  Get a Pocket Rocket from Amazon here: MSR Pocket-Rocket Stove

I have a solar panel which charges my electronics, gives me light and keeps my fan working on hot days.  The only reason I have a cell phone is that my parents insisted and have me on their plan.  I do have a MiFi for Internet, pay as you go, but don’t use it as much as I use to.  I instead go to public libraries a few times a week.  Each library is a bit different.  Some are very catering to the traveler and have open Internet and study rooms where you can charge everything.  Some have weird rules like no charging of electronics or no backpacks or even needing a library card to get the Internet password.


People assume living on the road means living alone and having no roots.  I have deep roots on the road and am constantly around people.  I meet up with RVers, bikers, friends and family as I travel.  Each year there are more people in a growing network of people who I have made my road family.  Recently, I had to put my dogs, my travel buddies, to sleep and thought I would be completely alone on the road.  I have spent more time in 2015 with friends than being alone.

Blue and TicTac with my friend Renee’s home called Shantilly.  Quartzsite Arizona, April 2015.

Blue and TicTac with my friend Renee’s home called Shantilly. Quartzsite Arizona, April 2015.

Two and a half years later I am the happiest I have ever been.  Living in TicTac has been the longest I have lived in one home since I moved out of my parent’s house at 18.  I have met so many wonderful people on the road I now call family and friend.  I look back on my life before the road and what a difference a life of simplicity makes.  I laugh every day… I have little stress… I am social… Yes, this fly on the wall is now, more times than not, the center of attention.  I constantly have people stopping by to ask about my “rig” and taking picture of me and my rig.  It is rare when I can sit outside TicTac and not have someone stare or stop to ask questions.  Some days it is enjoyable having people stop by but some days I hide to have some time to myself.

The VERY good life!

The VERY good,very rich  life! Sunrise in Oklahoma, October 2014

My life isn’t for everyone but it works for me.  I may not have a lot of money but I am rich in people, scenery and life.





Twitter: #hdcomposer

28 comments on “Living on a Harley and a Tear-Drop Trailer: Part 2
  1. Avatar susan says:

    Jackie, great article. You continue to inspire me. Keep enjoying the journey

  2. Avatar Lucy says:

    It’s been said that Vitamin D3 it is effective against depression, I have some friends that take it & report positive results of course in most of the cases it takes a little time to build in ( a couple of weeks perhaps ). Nothing to loose trying it can be bought OTC & is not that expensive.

    • Avatar Bob says:

      That makes sense Lucy and you have nothing to lose. For mild depression there are many little things that help, but for severe depression, often nothing but medication will work.

    • Avatar Jackie Heyen says:

      Thanks, Lucy… I just ride to the sun. I saw a naturopathic doctor before hitting the road… she tried many things but unfortunately my depression was too severe and there was nothing she could do. Mine seems to be a cross of mental and physical. I need a certain amount of physical stimulation and less stress.

  3. Avatar Cynthia Johns says:

    No one should ever dictate how another should live. I think it is cool that every night you look around at new landscapes and make new friends!

  4. Avatar Diane says:

    Would you please provide the link for Part 1? Thanks.

  5. Avatar raz says:

    keep on, keepen on.

    ice cream raz

  6. Avatar DougB says:

    That it “works for me” is a bit of an understatement! I’m very happy for you, and hope that life brings you even more joy and satisfaction. I’m also pleased that you have found a workable way to shed stress. It allows so much else to change. Enjoy!
    DougB recently posted…No Electrons For YOU!My Profile

  7. Avatar Curtis M. says:

    Thank you so much Jaclyn for sharing your story, very inspiring! I presume a tear drop trailer is small enough to be pulled even by a small car? I have a Pontiac G6 4cyl.

  8. Avatar Sherry in MT says:

    You truly do sound very happy and what a blessing to find a way of life that makes that so! I love your setup and have really enjoyed reading the short version of your adventure. 🙂 Safe happy travels!
    Sherry in MT recently posted…Crafty StuffMy Profile

  9. Too bad we didn’t know about the camping there when we went through in 2013.

    (You might want to fix “…Goosenecks State Park in Idaho” to Utah.)
    Al Christensen recently posted…Tent campingMy Profile

  10. Avatar maureen says:

    Kudos to you girl for following your heart, living bravely and simply and having a fantastic time at it. Nothing like the simple things in life. I’m in the process of researching either a Camp Hill or a Tab Sofitel cuz I need just a tad bit of life’s comforts.. Who knows maybe I’ll meet up with you on the road.

    Do you have any suggestions for trip planning other than AAA?

    • Avatar Bob says:

      Maureen, hopefully Jaclyn will answer but I’ll throw in this just in case she doesnt. It’s disheartening to learn later you were very close to something wonderful but missed it because you didn’t know about it. To keep that from happening I’m a big fan of following other peoples blogs to see the beautiful places they go and also Guide books.

      For route planning I use good old fashioned paper maps and Goggle maps.

    • Avatar Jackie Heyen says:

      I use google maps… I do a lot of research of places… and people always tell me where to go. Not a big fan of tourist attractions and can’t usually afford places I have to pay to enter. I usually look for a good road to ride. So my needs are probably a bit different than yours. I love using a paper map but my last one got all wet so I need to get me a new one. Sometimes the best day for me is getting lost and finding my way. 🙂

  11. Avatar steve says:

    You should post this over at Little Guy forum.Many tear droppers over there that would love to hear this story.
    I just got me a little guy [email protected] Max,and will be hitting road in June for a western us summer adventure.

  12. Avatar ainley53 says:

    Can’t express how much I admire what you’re doing and my appreciation to you for sharing it. Happy trails, safe rides and GOD bless.

  13. Avatar Art says:

    Now I wonder if there’s a trailer my Silverwing could deal with LOL

    • Avatar Bob says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised at all–but you’d have to be very careful about the stuff you carried, the extra space would make it easy to overload. Bob

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